IN THE NEWS: AKWA IBOM WORKERS RECEIVE MARCH PAY, DESPITE FAAC DEADLOCK
…………..As representatives of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja returned home empty handed on Tuesday from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC), workers in Akwa Ibom have met pleasant surprise following the payment of their March salary by the State government.
The FAAC meeting, convened to consider and approve statutory revenue allocations for February, ended in confusion in Abuja amid disagreements over revenue figures presented by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
This led the financial managers angrily walking out on the Minister of Finance and vowing that workers in their respective states shall have to wait until when the allocations are available in full.
However while the meeting was ongoing in Abuja, the banks alerts on phones of workers in Akwa Ibom State kept indicating that their salaries have been paid in full.
Some of the workers in Uyo who had been apprehensive over the reported financial stalemate in the seat of power, had leaped with joy when they discovered that they had been credited with their full salaries for the month of March.
Those who spoke with our reporter maintained that the Governor has always acquitted himself efficiently as a great manager of men and resources, and pledged to support him till 2023.
Last December, the FAAC meeting was equally stalemated, as members could not reconcile the revenue figures presented by the national oil company, which told a shocked nation at the height of a recent fuel crisis it spends N774 million daily to guarantee steady supply of petroleum products.
The Akwa Ibom State head of civil service Mrs Ekereobong Akpan said the governor has prioritized the welfare of workers as his first line of charge.
She recounted that the same scenario was obtained last November when the Governor went ahead to take care of the emoluments of workers despite the delay in the federal allocations in the state.
Reports have it that, during the meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, representatives of the states, consisting accountants-general and commissioners of finance, said it was their consensus not to approve the allocations to the three tiers of government for the month.
They described the discrepancies in revenue figures presented by the NNPC as a bad omen to workers in the country who may have to go without salary for the month until the issue is resolved.
The Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, who confirmed the development to reporters shortly after the meeting, at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Abuja, said a new schedule for the meeting would be communicated on a later date.